Understanding SMarketing — 3 steps to Sales & Marketing Alignment
Have you ever heard the term SMarketing? I coined the term in 2007 with Mike Volpe, Chief Marketing Officer of HubSpot, when we moved from traditional sales and marketing to a combined mission, vision & results oriented team. I just smooshed sales & marketing together. It was funny then. It is crucial now.
Over the last thirty years, sales & marketing teams didn’t necessarily have the best track record for communications and collaboration. In fact, there was more anxiety between those two departments than in the parents bleacher seats at the state t-ball championship game for 8 year olds. There has traditionally been lots of finger pointing, back stabbing and blurred communications.
Marketing was always in the dog house because they didn’t create enough leads or they created too many leads of average quality. Salespeople were always the hero’s – they did most of the work and brought in the revenue. When a company did well, salespeople were treated like champions. When a company did poorly it was marketing’s fault!
Fast-forward to 2016 and it’s a whole new era that requires thinking about things different. Today, everyone is responsible for revenue. EVERYONE. Sales & Marketing can and should function like a well-oiled machine because you can. Companies that define themselves with SMarketing alignment grow 20% quicker than those stuck in the traditional definitions (and we can prove it).
Here are 3 reasons alignment gives you a competitive advantage:
- Today, you can measure everything- quickly, accurately & without regard for the quality of the statistics. Before cloud based computing, it was hard to get accurate sales & marketing data to identify opportunities or areas of improvement. Today, all aspects of connection can be measured from the first time someone comes to your website as a prospect, through the times that they become an opportunity, on to the point they become a customer, and through the customer process to become a super customer or fan. That information can be delivered in near real time to anyone in the organization. That takes the “gut feel” out of the process and allows business people to diagnose issues quickly, with much more clarity. Companies that have the right measurement have a strategic advantage.
- Established SLA’s show you if you are ahead or behind. Today, both sales & marketing can deliver tangible, measurable goals (and accompanied activities based on those goals) that help lead to the quicker conversions into clients/members. A service level agreement allows clients to make sure that both parts of the equation are providing what is necessary to turn strangers into customers/members.
- Today, the buyer is in control. Before the age of social media, it used to be buyer beware to make sure they didn’t make a bad selection. Today it is the exact opposite — now it’s seller beware. In the “old days” if someone complained about your service or product it was a phone call or a letter to your boss. Today, it’s sent to everyone on twitter or Instagram — and that incident influences your future business. This requires both awareness and skills for everyone in the organization to understand the best way to treat people like… people, and provide a quality human experience throughout the entire process. Your business is the same as what you warn your kids about on Facebook – “don’t post anything you don’t want to show up on my feed”- and you have limited control over it.
SMarketing is here to stay and my session at Drive ‘16 will give you 5 steps to start Smarketing, explain 9 years of experience of aligning sales and marketing, and make sure you are headed in the right direction.
About the author: